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Proposition 47: The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act (Criminal)

Overview

On November 4, 2014, the California Voters passed Proposition 47, also known as "The Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act."

Proposition 47 creates a new Penal Code section, §1170.18, which allows offenders currently serving felony sentences for the specified crimes to petition to the sentencing court to have their sentences reduced to misdemeanor sentences. In addition, certain offenders who have already completed a sentence for a felony that qualifies under the new law may apply to the sentencing court to have their felony conviction designated a misdemeanor.

YOU DO NOT QUALIFY for a reduction of a qualifying felony to a misdemeanor if any of the following apply to you:
  • You must register as a sex offender under Penal Code section 290(c). (Note, if your conviction is for petty theft with a prior theft conviction under Penal Code § 666, you are disqualified for a reduction if you must register under any provision of the Sex Offender Registration Act, Penal Code §§ 290 to 290.024).
  • You have a prior conviction for any homicide (Penal Code §§ 187 to 191.5), attempted homicide or solicitation to commit murder.
  • You have a prior conviction for a sexually violent offense listed in Welfare and Institution Code section 6600(b). This includes rape, spousal rape, rape in concert, aggravated sexual assault of a child, sodomy, lewd acts on a child under 14, oral copulation, continuous sexual abuse of a child under age 14 and sexual penetration, kidnapping with the intent to commit one of those offenses, and or assault with the intent to commit one of those offenses, when committed by force, violence, duress, menace, fear of immediate and unlawful bodily injury on the victim or another person, or threatening to retaliate in the future against the victim or any other person.
  • You have a prior conviction for any serious or violent felony punishable by death or life in prison.
  • You have a prior conviction for possession of a weapon of mass destruction.
  • You have a prior conviction for assault on a peace officer or a firefighter with a machine gun.
IF YOU HAVE A CONVICTION FOR A QUALIFYING FELONY and you are not disqualified you may ask your sentencing judge to reduce your conviction to a misdemeanor. The qualifying felonies are

Proposition 47 also created the new crime of shoplifting pursuant to Penal Code section 459.5. Shoplifting is defined as entering a commercial establishment while the establishment is open during regular business hours with the intent to commit larceny where the value of the property taken does not exceed $950. Any act of shoplifting must be charged as shoplifting and may not be charged as burglary or theft.

Click here to view the Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Criminal Proposition 47

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